Popular culture promotes an image of the musical prodigy: the young virtuoso, standing erect and regal with his instrument, isolated from the world in equal parts by technical genius and social infancy.
That’s not David Requiro. At least not entirely — the virtuoso part is true. In the words of his teacher, Music Prof. Richard Aaron, Requiro is “a very normal person.” Still, “normal” might seem like a bit of a misnomer for the accomplished School of Music, Theatre & Dance graduate student.
Requiro just completed his Master of Music degree last semester. But for the last two years, he has been touring and competing internationally, reeling in accolades like the Naumburg International Cello Award and a first prize in the Washington International String Competition. To win both of these in less than two years, as the 24-year-old Requiro has, is almost unheard of for someone so young.
Requiro’s time on campus has been fragmented, a circumstance he spoke about with regret but also with purpose. In his two years at the University, he has kept busy.
“For the last year or so, I’ve been going to New York once a month,” Requiro said.
A Google search will turn up performance notes for Requiro from San Francisco to Tokyo. Last year, he performed at the helm of the National Symphony Orchestra.
“It is the equivalent of driving a Ferrari,” Requiro said. “The orchestra is capable of an enormous spectrum of colors and they could follow any special timing or musical character I put in front of them.”
Not only has he been a soloist for several international grade orchestras, last year he also performed a solo recital in Weill Hall in Carnegie Hall. Requiro is modest, expressing some trepidation about his New York performance in front of what he called an “extremely critical audience.” Richard Aaron was not so conservative.
“From the second I saw him, I knew he was incredibly special,” Aaron said. “A truly great cellist needs both personality and technique. If they’re not symbiotic, it doesn’t mean so much. David has the whole kit and caboodle.”
Although Requiro has a tendency to chalk his success up to “luck,” his growing stack of awards discredits that explanation.
“Every important violinist or cellist of the last 60 years won that prize,” Aaron said of the Naumburg Award. “Twenty years ago, he’d have been on the Johnny Carson show overnight.”